Heart-Healthy Food and Recipes


One of the keys to a healthy heart is a healthy diet, and overall, a healthy lifestyle. For people with diabetes, this is especially important because they’re twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke, even at a younger age. Also, the longer you have diabetes, the more likely you’ll develop heart disease. Good nutrition is one of the ways to lower your risk. In this article, we’ll list flavorful heart-healthy foods and recipes to help you.

Eating Patterns Designed to Improve Heart Health

Eating patterns used to improve heart health is the Mediterranean Diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet. The Mediterranean Diet encourages the consumption of plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and olive oil, and lean proteins such as fish and poultry. They recommend using herbs and spices to replace the consumption of added salt.

The Mediterranean and DASH diets recommend limiting the consumption of red meat as well as added sugars and moderate alcohol consumption, preferring red wine in case of having some. These foods contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that help keep cholesterol and triglyceride levels in check, as well as plant fibers, antioxidants and they have anti-inflammatory effects when combined.

Here are some ways to incorporate both eating patterns into your lifestyle:

  • Incorporate fruits and vegetables of all colors, remember that varying these foods gives you more vitamins and minerals.
  • Choose whole grains. These types of cereals have a higher fiber content that helps digestion.
  • Vegetable oils are higher in heart-healthy fats.
  • Eat fish at least twice a week, with the preferred preparation being grilled or steamed, avoiding fried fish. Varieties of fish include fresh tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and herring.
  • Dairy products are suitable if incorporated as Greek or low-fat, sugar-free natural yogurt, as well as fresh cheeses that have a lower fat content.
  • Choose lean meats, which means they have no fat.
  • Reduce salt intake by choosing to use herbs and spices.

So, if you feel like preparing some delicious dishes while taking good care of your heart’s health at the same time, here are some ideas.

As you can see, a healthy diet that protects your heart health does not have to be boring or tasteless. Today we know that the treatment to take care of cardiovascular health includes diet.

Some simple modifications to your eating plan may have beneficial effects on your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels reducing the risk of different heart conditions.

Continue to revisit this page as we add more heart-healthy nutrition tips and recipes to help you manage diabetes while reducing this risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Do you have a recipe you would like to submit? Send it to us at hello@beyondtype1.org!


WRITTEN BY Eugenia Araiza, POSTED 01/29/21, UPDATED 08/01/23

Eugenia has a degree in nutrition specializing in diabetes and she is a diabetes educator. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 25 years ago, she is the creator of Healthy Diabetes. She really enjoys studying and helping others in managing their different types of diabetes. She loves studying, managing type 1 diabetes and nutrition. She especially enjoys writing about the impact diabetes has in her life. She lives surrounded by the love of her family, Luis Felipe, who lives with latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) type diabetes and her teenage son, Indigo.